Royal Ascot Day 1 Tuesday June 20th

Monday 6.00pm 

Summer is here. Eighty degrees, in old money, and Royal Ascot. Competition will be fierce and although internationally the very best may be absent there is good in abundance. With the high temperatures and the massive crowds how your horse handles the heat and the atmosphere may be as important as how they run from gates opening to finishing line. Tuesday has two Group 1’s with odds on favourites in Ribchester and Churchill and finding a bet is not easy and I certainly can’t see a Lucky 15 so we will tackle the card race by race. No apologies for cut and pasting what I’ve already blogged, I’ll just try to bring it up to date. Better get this on line before Hugh Taylor jumps on any more simplesimonsays bandwagons!

Tuesday 2.30pm Queen Anne Stakes 4yo+ 8F – RIBCHESTER

Nothing would give me and I expect Team Godolphin more pleasure than to see Ribchester win and give #FantasticMrFahey another Group 1. Ribchester is currently ranked number three in the world with only Arrogate and Winx rated higher. He won the G1 8F Lockinge in imperious style and although with the benefit of the run and faster ground could see 2016 Queen Anne third, Flaming Spear, get closer Ribchester deserves his place in the market, top priced 4/5. Although Ribchester is no all-conquering champion there is little opposition in Europe aged four or older.

However I’m looking for something at a price, who will act on quick ground and has some G1 form. I’m drawn to AMERICAN PATRIOT from the US trained by the legend Todd Pletcher, won a firm ground 8F G1 on Turf at Keeneland and goes well after a break. Here is an article I found on-line.

American Patriot Confirmed for Royal Ascot June 7, 2017 11:52 AM Thoroughbred Racing, International

“WinStar Farm’s homebred American Patriot, winner of the April 14 Maker’s 46 Mile Stakes (G1T) at Keeneland in his previous start, has been confirmed for the £600,000 Queen Anne Stakes (G1) June 20 at Royal Ascot. The 4-year-old son of War Front worked five furlongs around the dogs in 1:00.55 June 3 on the inner turf at Belmont Park. He will travel to England June 13 for trainer Todd Pletcher. “American Patriot breezed exceptionally well Saturday, and came out of the work good,” Pletcher said. “He’s doing really well, so it’s all systems go. It’s an honor to have a horse good enough to compete in one of the biggest races in the world like the Queen Anne, and on a stage like Royal Ascot. We are very much looking forward to it.” Frankie Dettori will have the mount in the one-mile turf event.”

Plenty of plusses especially the War Front angle and Frankie Dettori doing the steering. I have seen the video of American Patriots last victory and Ascot’s stiff finish would seem to suit.

Quite happy to suggest American Patriot one star* each way @ 25/1 ew with WH 123 1/5

Since writing this the horse I left out, Mutakayyef, has been put forward by pundits I respect (Check out the Final Furlong Podcast). Since an excellent third to Postponed in the Juddmonte International William Haggas has sent Hamdan Al Maktoums son of Sea the Stars on his travels. Third to Tepin in the Woodbine International and fifth in the Dubai Turf in Meydan, behind Ribchester, may explain why he slipped off my radar. He’ll love the ground, he’s best at a mile and has course and distance form. I wouldn’t put anyone off backing him at around the 8/1 mark but he just isn’t a Group 1 horse for me.

Richard Fahey commented: “Royal Ascot is a big meeting for us all, trainers, owners and jockeys. Ribchester ran last month and to win a G1 race by over three lengths was a huge performance – we were delighted with him and he now has a rating of 125 and quite a good speed-rating as well. We have a pacemaker, Toscanini, in the race but I am not particularly bothered whether Ribchester goes to the front again or takes a lead. I am quite comfortable with him as he is relaxing at home now. I am very happy with Ribchester ahead of the Queen Anne Stakes – he has done his last bit of work. The ground is different from last time but he has form on fast ground as well.”

Tuesday 3.05 Coventry Stakes G2 6F – RAJASINGHE

POSITIVES Unbeaten (preferably one run). Trained by Aidan O’Brien or Richard Hannon. The favourite.

NEGATIVES Beaten last time out. Outside the front five in the betting. Once-raced.

A week away there is no clear favourite. The top rated (RPR) colt is Jessica Harrington’s Brother Bear, unbeaten in two and heads the market but there is plenty of 11/2 about. Brother Bear has shown plenty of pace and a willing attitude but as he was a drifting 9/1 on debut suggests he wasn’t burning up the home gallops and he isn’t an imposing colt.

So what have Messr’s Hannon and O’Brien got towards the top of the market? Richard Hannon’s top rated colt is the improving De Bruyne Horse but he looks Division Two to me. Denaar won well at Newbury but he lacks size and has a scratchy action, not for me. Aidan O’Brien has two to mention, Murillo, who has a US pedigree as a son of Scat Daddy, was beaten on debut but quickened to win an egg and spoon maiden at Tipperary. He would need strong market support, Firm in the going and Ryan Moore on board to carry my money but I think Ryan Moore will be on the winner and that will be Declarationofpeace. Good sized son of War Front running for Coolmore, ideal Royal Ascot profile, beaten on debut at Navan, despite the dogs barking in the ring, when a tad green was seen to much better effect on the sand at Dundalk. With quicker ground expected at Ascot I’m quite happy to take the 8/1 on offer with William Hill and Declarationofpeace is a two star** win selection. As for a main danger? When reviewing the videos the horse with the size and scope who impressed me most was Richard Spencer’s Rajasinghe for upwardly mobile Rebel Racing who strode away in the final furlong in the style of a classy horse and is another who would look to appreciate the anticipated Good to Firm (watered to maintain?!) ground. Rajasinghe is a one star* selection @ a general 10/1.

Leading ATR tipster has just put up Rajasinghe for the Coventry and this is why “RAJASINGHE produced a really good time figure when making a winning debut at Newcastle last month and if he can reproduce that effort he’ll have a good chance in the Coventry Stakes on the opening day of Royal Ascot (3.05). He was well on top at the line in what was a truly-run event at Newcastle, and the time figure I gave him for that effort was the fastest all-weather figure I’ve given to a 2yo before the end of June in the last five years. Whether he can build on, or even reproduce that effort on turf here is the big question, and it’s true his dam never won again having made a winning debut on the all-weather. However, she did finish fourth in the Queen Mary, and given Rajasinghe’s sire Choisir won twice at Royal Ascot in the space of four days and has sired a number of good Ascot performers, his pedigree isn’t discouraging.This looks an open event, but based on the clock Rajasinghe’s debut effort entitles him to be in the mix here. “

Declarationofpeace is a non-runner here running instead in the Windsor Castle Listed 5F that closes todays card. Happy to stick with Rajasinghe especially as the horse he beat at Newcastle, Indomeneo, battled on to win at Wetherby today. Romanised has had his form franked more than once and with trainer Ken Condon reasonably unknown this side of the Irish Sea is probably overpriced at 16/1 if you can get it.

Tuesday 3.40pm Kings Stand Stakes G1 5F – Ladies First?

Great spectacle, just not my cup of tea as a betting medium. Looks like it good be a well-mannered race with Ladies first. Lady Aurelia was probably my biggest WOW moment of last season when she blitzed the Queen Mary over C&D, she gets all the allowances and they will need to strap Frankie Dettori on tightly but she could be special. Sir Mark Prescott and Clive Cox have fellow fillies, Marsha and Priceless, in fine fettle so how about the three fillies in combination forecasts and tricasts, 12 bets?

Tuesday 4.20pm St. James Palace Stakes 3yo colts 8F – CHURCHILL

Churchill is ranked five in the world just a pound behind Ribchester and their “Duel on the Downs” in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood this summer is eagerly awaited. Churchill is a dual Guineas winner and seems to be one of those horses that just does enough without setting the pulse racing. At most he will have just ten rivals and Aidan O’Brien trains four of those! The obvious danger is Barney Roy who took a false step in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket just as he was organising his challenge but he and Churchill currently trade at top priced 9/4 and 4/6 and I’m looking for something bigger. This may be a bit repetitive but Royal Ascot, fast ground, son of War Front is a tasty recipe and LANCASTER BOMBER may have been beaten in five of his starts by Churchill but his two best runs have been on fast ground, he was second in the Breeders Cup, and Coolmore seem happy to put him in with Churchill even if only to ensure a solid gallop.

Let’s try Lancaster Bomber one star* each way @ 25/1 ew with WH or Coral 123 1/5

Ryan Moore on Betfair on Churchill, “He is one of those horses that just makes it easy for a jockey, and I am hoping it will be the same again here.” I would really like to see someone make Churchill have to knuckle down and let’s see how good he is. I’m not hopeful!

Tuesday 5.00pm Ascot Stakes C2 handicap 20F Who Dares Wins/Suegioo

Why not go the whole hog and put out ten flights of hurdles for this the WeprefercheltenhambutanyecusetogotoRoyalascotonmyownersbadge handicap. Cheltenham doesn’t have a 5F sprint on its running order! Entries from Messrs Mullins, Henderson, Nicholls, King, Pipe and Vaughan.

No idea. The stats say we should look for “Trained by a primarily jumps-based stable. Officially rated between 83 and 93. Trained in Ireland. Start in the first five in the betting. Ran well in the Chester Cup.” Which bar the Irish bit sort of all points towards Who Dares Wins. He was our each way selection in the Chester Cup when we collected on the place side. At 20/1+ Suegioo will love the fast ground and he was 8th last season in the G1 Gold Cup itself on the Soft ground that is unsuitable. Solid second at Haydock last time and slipped down to OR100. #FantasticMrFahey on sportinglife.com “Suegioo bounced back to form and ran a good, solid, race at Haydock last time. He’ll definitely get the trip in the Ascot Stakes which is a big plus and he’s back down to a rating now from which he can be competitive. He’s a funny old horse but on a going day would have a small chance.”

Tuesday 5.35pm Windsor Castle Stakes 5F Listed – DECLARATIONOFPEACE

I think Ryan Moore will be on the winner and that will be Declarationofpeace. Good sized son of War Front running for Coolmore, ideal Royal Ascot profile, beaten on debut at Navan, despite the dogs barking in the ring, when a tad green but was seen to much better effect on the sand at Dundalk. With quicker ground expected at Ascot I’m quite happy to take the 7/2 on offer generally and Declarationofpeace is a two star** win selection.

If I fancied him for the G2 Coventry I have to fancy him here.

Ryan Moore on Betfair on Declarationofpeace “Luck in running, and being drawn in the right place at the right time, is a big factor in this 5f charge. I haven’t ridden him in any of his two starts to date but he looked pretty speedy when winning over 5f by 6 lengths at Dundalk last month. He needs to step up a bit to be winning this but the runner-up there won his maiden well next time out, so that Dundalk form does have some substance. We won this race with Washington DC a couple of years ago.”

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